January is a time people use to reset their healthy living efforts and reignite their passion for improving themselves. It's also time for marketing gurus to use your desires to make money so I want to warn you of a few "red flags" in the health industry. Things you should at least press "pause" when you hear or read before moving any further.
1. The promise of quick results.
Quick results usually aren't maintainable. I know they feel good which is why people buy in to the quick results marketing. Losing 20 lbs in four weeks sounds good right? BUT- the marketing should really read....lose 20 lbs in four weeks that you're 95% guaranteed to gain back. If your goal this year is weight loss, make sure you're choosing a change in diet that you think you can maintain for the rest of your life.
2. The "proprietary blend" in products.
Proprietary blend means the company can put whatever they want in their product and not tell you. One of the few regulations the FDA puts on the supplement industry is that they must list all the ingredients in the product EXCEPT if those ingredients are part of a proprietary blend. The company must list the weight of the proprietary blend and that's it. Keep in mind there's also no requirement by the FDA for the product to be tested for harmful ingredients.
3. Supplements for weight loss.
There are several products out there that tout their ability to help you lose weight. Again, they're making money off of your perceived lack of ability to lose weight without their help or they want you to lose weight quicker. Many of these will help you lose a small amount of weight but charge you LOTS of money for their products. Here's a great summary of the common weight loss products and information about whether or not they'll help you lose weight.
4. Keep in mind "natural" does not mean safe. (this one's a YELLOW flag)
Natural products are chemicals that occur in nature. Every person's body interacts differently with chemicals and many of the products that are marketed as "natural" haven't been well studied. Go here to see a few more considerations when thinking about adding something "natural" to your supplements. If your'e taking prescription medications it's always a good idea to talk to your prescriber about possible interactions between your new supplement and your medications.